If meeting Santa is on your Christmas to-do-list then a trip to Rovaniemi in Finland is a must. The village in Lapland, located just north of the Arctic Circle, has become known as the Christmas HQ -- where kids and adults can make gingerbread cookies with Mrs. Claus or enroll in Elf School.
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer...and Rudolph —
Other attractions in the very north of Finland include the Ranua Zoo, home to baby polar bears, wolverines, and moose and the Sirmakko reindeer farm, where visitors can take a sled-led reindeer safari.
Ice, ice baby —
Across the border over in north Sweden is the now-infamous Ice Hotel -- where visitors sleep on a bed made from blocks of frozen ice.
Courtesy Tomas Utsi Naturfoto
Strolling in Strasbourg —
Every year Strasbourg creates a series of themed Christmas villages. With plenty of mulled Alsatian wines, fine food and book markets the city is turned into a visual and gastronomic wonderland.
Quebec: Christmas with an eco twist —
A haven for environmentally friendly, outdoor enthusiasts, Quebec is a city that bustles with activity. If you're the type of person who likes to celebrate Christmas around a tree made from recycled sheet metal, with lights powered by the pedaling of nearby cyclists, then Quebec is your destination.
la Ville de Québec
Old-world charm in the New World —
Quebec's French Quarters offer modern-day Victorians candle-lit evening of stories from Charles Dickens, detailing the Christmas traditions of yore.
la Ville de Québec
Piñatas, ponche and pilgrimages —
In the colorful Mexican city of San Miguel de Allende, Christmas is both a solemn and a celebratory affair. The locals make pilgrimages from home to home begging for shelter as they re-enact the journey to Bethlehem. But there is also plenty of party, ponche - a mulled fruit drink - and piñatas.
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Brooklyn sights —
The Dyker Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York is famous for its ostentatious Christmas decorations and light displays. Neighbors try and out-do each other with holiday decorations.
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Ethiopia's monolithic churches —
Dating as far back as the 12th century and carved out of striking red-color blocks of volcanic rock these churches, situated roughly 200 miles north of Addis Ababa, are a sacred place of pilgrimage for those wanting to celebrate the Coptic Christmas on January 7.
CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Meeting kings in Barcelona —
If you can manage to extend your Christmas holiday until Three King's Day on January 6, there is no better place to catch up with Melchior, Gaspar and Balthasar than Barcelona where parades, floats and fireworks light up the town for huge post-December 25 street party.
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Never ending Christmas —
Known as the country with "the longest Christmas season in the world," Filipinos get the Christmas festivities rolling in September, and extend them well through January. The country's cities and islands are festooned with nativities, lantern parades, and Christmas bazaars.
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Christmas down under —
Sun-lovers who would prefer to meet santa in swimwear rather than thermals should head down to Queenstown. The New Zealand summer means you can enjoy all the adventures that the South Island has to offer without getting a frostbite or simply enjoy a hearty Christmas meal of lamb, seafood, and chicken on the barbie.